A Brief Failure

I FLUNKED UKE tonight. This is hard to do, but somehow I managed it. As senior student tonight, I was the demonstration Uke. The technique Sensei chose is supposed to end with Uke sliding to flat on the mat as Shite pulls Uke’s arm. Just before this, we’d been practicing sliding movements, and I could have put two and two together, but I didn’t. So when Sensei pulled my arm, I stumbled along next to him until we were both off the mat. This was obviously incorrect, but Sensei simply set up to do the technique again. And I proceeded to stumble off the mat the second time. The third time, I realized what he wanted and we completed the technique successfully.

I’ve been the demonstration Uke many times, and I’ve always been able to follow along even when I don’t know the technique. Not this time! I suppose this has happened to many senior students, although I’ve never witnessed a flub like mine. This after I’d had such an uplifting feeling during Monday’s class. Nothing like this to plant my feet firmly back on earth!

I wonder why Sensei didn’t just tell me what I should have done after my first failed attempt. Perhaps he wanted me to figure it out on my own, although the look on his face suggested he just couldn’t understand why I didn’t get it. I don’t think I’ll ask. I did apologize after class, and he laughed and said we don’t do many sliding techniques. It was a nice way to save face for me, and to reinforce that I should not worry about it anymore and just keep training.

Note to self: review the Pre-2nd Kyu techniques (of which this was one). I may be called upon to help demonstrate more of them.

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